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Larry King Live
Has Award-Winning Actor Nick Nolte Found the Fountain of Youth?Aired February 16, 2000 - 9:00 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, has this award-winning actor found the fountain of youth? Two-time Oscar nominee the great Nick Nolte going strong at 60 joins us with from Washington. With him, Dr. Eric Braverman, director of The Place for Achieving Total Health, and in Tucson, Dr. Andrew Weil, director of the program for integrated medicine at the University of Arizona. They're all next on LARRY KING LIVE.
Tonight's program is not about film or theater. Nick Nolte is featured, though, and later, we'll bring in the co-guests with him here, Dr. Braverman and Dr. Weil, but we'll start with Nick, as to what this is all about. The basic topic is the use of human growth hormones to slow down the aging process.
How did you hook on to this?
NICK NOLTE, ACTOR: Well, I would say about five years ago in my -- about 55, I started to realize that my body was just going to deteriorate the natural way, and I read Andy Weil's book "Eight Weeks to Better Health," and I started out with vitamins. And in Andy's book, he said find doctors you can develop a relationship with, that you can share with, that will work with you in a partnership. And I found a Dr. Renna (ph), and we started to work, and we took blood tests, and we found out metabolism and everything else, and we did hormone tests. We found out what my testosterone level was, which was low, probably not low for my age, but low in relationship to being able to repair tissue.
KING: The process was you wanted to live longer or be younger, or what was your goal?
NOLTE: Well, I wanted to live the best I could at the moment. I wanted to live as healthy as I could.
KING: For as long as you could?
NOLTE: For as long as I could, yes. But to live forever is not my dream; you know, that's not the point. But to live in the best way.
So in the hormone area, we replaced the testosterone. It's controversial in that area. And then we replaced the growth hormone. The growth hormone was low, too. The effects... KING: He gave you a new one, he gave you new hormones?
NOLTE: New hormones, yes.
KING: By transfusion?
NOLTE: No, no, no, by injection. You inject yourself in the fatty tissue of your stomach. And for me, it repaired a lot of cartilage. I had a frozen rotator cuff that I'd been working on for five years, and after this testosterone and growth hormone, I was able to free it, and it came back. This arm was atrophied, smaller than this arm, and this arm came back. And of course I monitored my hormone levels and watched it, and watched my PSA and made sure it didn't go into prostate...
KING: And did you become totally intrigued with it? I mean, did it now become a way of life for you?
NOLTE: Yes, it has become a way of life, because from that, from hormones to -- and the vitamins led me eventually into the brain work, where...
KING: What is that?
NOLTE: Well, I met Eric Braverman, Dr. Eric Braverman, at an anti-aging conference, and he was talking about brain first, that we know enough about the brain to do a brain checkup. We do a heart checkup. We do, you know, other checkups. Why not a brain checkup? And so, that entails being work, and it entails looking at the brain. And so for me this was the weakest area, being an addict and an alcoholic.
KING: How long have you been sober?
NOLTE: About 15 years, 15 years, with the use of AA club -- AA. And you know, we say in AA, it's a disease. Well, you know, scientifically, we have never been able to put our finger on where is the disease.
KING: Can't prove it.
NOLTE: Yes, can't prove it. So working with Braverman and looking at the bean, we could see that there was, in my brain, there's a -- there was a low-level, low-grade anxiety that is constantly there, probably been there from birth, and that led me into Kenneth Bloom and David Cummings who are doing the genetic research in addictions. And three years ago, they isolate an alcoholic gene, and now they've isolated more. I think 20 have been published or more. It's polymorphic, so it probably involves a lot of genes. And there is some thought that it's not only alcohol, but it involves any of the dopamine-type drugs that one -- I don't think the brain sets out to say, I'm going to drink a gallon of vodka because it's going to be fun. I think it's a medicine and a support medicine.
KING: Some brains want it, and some don't.
KING: Some can handle it and some can't. Are you now, would you say, Nick, totally involved in the this?
KING: Because you've asked to come here and to sit down for an hour on international television and talk about it. You're not promoting a movie.
NOLTE: No, no, no.
KING: You're totally into -- even though you opened in "Simpatico" last week.
KING: But even though you are totally consumed by this, do you feel much better?
NOLTE: Oh, I feel much better. Larry, I think the question is where I had to separate feeling from really what is going on in my body, is not to operate on a feel good or feel bad. I had to take the conscious responsibility of my own body, and monitor it and...
KING: How often do you do this?
NOLTE: Well, I do this every day.
KING: OK, I want to go over some of these things, and then the doctor will tell us. But as I understand it. You get genotrophin (ph). You inject growth hormones. You get CES, cranial electronic stimulator, this electronic device worn on the forehead. You get a supplement regiment in nutrients, hormones, electrical treatments. You inject yourself with nutrients and vitamins, right?
KING: Rigorous exercise. You've gotten your body fat in some areas down to 10 percent.
KING: All right, we'll find out how all of this works, how Dr. Braverman tapped into it, what Dr. Weil thinks of it. It's all ahead in this full hour of LARRY KING LIVE.
Don't go away.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "AFFLICTION")
NOLTE: You stinky son of a bitch! I've got your number now! All of these years I thought you were a decent man, ran around feeling grateful to you.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: All right, you're fired, Wade! NOLTE: He's using us. We're his slaves, don't you see? What are you a quitter? A quitter?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: You're finished, Wade. Give me your car keys.
NOLTE: I am free of you. I don't got you no more. You're not on my back no more. You see how easy it is.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Back off me.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: All right, break it up. Break it up.
NOLTE: You ain't getting away with it!
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Stay out of it, Jimmy. I'll handle this. You're fired. I want the shop keys. Where are they?
NOLTE: Wade, get out of here. Just go!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: We saw that scene from "Affliction," by the way, Nick. And making that movie is when all of this started for you.
NOLTE: Yes, a lot of it. There's another movie that had influence on this, and that was "Lorenzo's Oil," which basically Augusto and Michaela Odone went out to try to find a cure for their son that had a drimolone cadistrophy (ph), and they supposedly found this, so they....
KING: Does it make you a better actor?
NOLTE: Yes, I think so. I think so.
KING: OK, doc, you're a doctor, your a medical doctor?
DR. ERIC BRAVERMAN, DIRECTOR, THE PLACE FOR ACHIEVING TOTAL HEALTH: Sure, of course.
KING: Educated at?
BRAVERMAN: NYU, Yale Medicine, Internal Medicine, Harvard Medical Research for one year.
KING: And your specialty was or is?
BRAVERMAN: General medicine...
KING: A little kid wanted to be a doctor and became a doctor. BRAVERMAN: That's right. I became a doctor in New York City.
KING: How did you hook on to this?
BRAVERMAN: How'd I hook on to this? Actually, I began with this in Princeton, New Jersey with Carl Pfeiffer, who set up the Princeton brain biocenter, and he made the claim that brain chemistry affected behavior more than just psychology and spirituality. And so I really hooked into the concept that the brain controls the body, that you really need to deliver health care head first; the same way you come out of your mother's womb head first, you come out of trouble head first in life. The brain really controls your entire health.
KING: As a doctor, you weren't a neurologist, right.
BRAVERMAN: No, I had some neurological training, some psychiatry training, but in some ways, neurology and psychiatry never merged with internal medicine. The fields were separated. You took care of your head over here, your body over here. And in most people the, head's attached to the body, so we think the two need to go together.
KING: And what is The Place for Achieving Total Health in New York. That's you're -- you're the director right?
BRAVERMAN: Yes, well, it's a model clinic to set up 21st century medicine, and that 21st century medicine is head-first medicine, the brain controlling the body, where we do a brain print, a brain health assessment on virtually everybody, because your brain health, your mind, your concentration, your memory, your brain's speed, your personality, your temperament, all impact your entire well being, and the course of every disease and the course of having a healthier life.
KING: So you're saying treat the brain, you're treating the body?
BRAVERMAN: When you treat the brain, you're impacting every illness in your entire life. But what's different about us is that we do a head-to-toe computerized exam. Every doctor in America knows that a head-to-toe physical is the way you make observations about health. But today, the computer can actually make a better examination than a manual physician.
KING: So you rig up a computer to Nick?
BRAVERMAN: All types of computers. He's probably the most studied person I know on Earth right now. He's had BEAM from Harvard Medical School, which stands for brain electrical activity map. We've studied his concentration and memory. We've studied his PET scan, a whole-body PET scan looking for tumors the size of a speck. We've done whole-body DEXA scans of his bones and body fat.
KING: All at your place?
BRAVERMAN: Or some cases, we've had to send him to UCLA, because he's flown into New York City to do some of this, and other times, he's done some out in UCLA. He's done an ultrafast CT, which is a new technique to pick up coronary blockages before you have any chest pain, all right, at the earliest stages.
KING: Do all major hospitals have these?
BRAVERMAN: Yes, all major hospitals have them, but they don't have they yet merged into a kind of primary care, where everyone can say, oh, in the 21st century, we're going to have a computerized examination, we're going to fix...
KING: And from this, you end up with let's say a full printout of Nick Nolte, right, brain to toe.
KING: And then from this, you treat with various things. They could be medications. They could be vitamins. They could be -- why injections?
BRAVERMAN: Well, first of all, you use both modalities, East and West combined, to make a new path in medicine. We have available to us the following therapies: Once we find every worn-out part, we have conventional medicines.
KING: Which you use?
BRAVERMAN: Absolutely. I mean, that's what I've been trained in, and I am going to make using of that.
KING: Gets a headache, you give him an Aspirin?
BRAVERMAN: Well, not necessarily. When he gets a headache, we evaluate is it stress? Is it emotional? Is it medical?
KING: But I mean, you do use regular modes of treatment?
BRAVERMAN: Plus we use conventional -- what I consider conventional nutrition, nutritional supplements as nutritional therapies, anything from Niacin to fish oil to melatonin. We use natural hormones, no synthetic hormones. That's natural. Estrogen for menopause. It's already bad news synthetic hormones; natural testosterone for male menopause. Natural growth hormone has to be injected because of the fact that it's not absorbed orally, natural melatonin that takes care of the aging brain. There's really a whole group of natural hormones we use.
KING: And in many cases -- in most cases, the patient can administer to himself, as Nick does most of his -- you inject yourself every day.
NOLTE: Well, yes. I am a little bit far out there. I don't know how many... KING: Like what do you do?
NOLTE: Well, I mean, I don't know of a lot of people that do their own IV drips, you know, because that...
KING: No, Nick, I would say that's...
NOLTE: That's a little...
KING: You mean, you have the machine?
NOLTE: Yes, I have the -- I set up the drip, and you know, especially on movies. If I am on a movie and it's a lot of stress, I will maybe do two drips a week, and I've found in my case that I just don't get sick anymore. I just don't go down because of the stress.
KING: You don't get sick? You don't get a cold?
NOLTE: Don't get a cold. Usually that's the typical thing, isn't it, to get a cold...
KING: Yes, I've got one now.
NOLTE: Right, because you've been down there, and traveling around and stress. Yes, and it wears you out. Your immune system just gets worn out, and by doing the IV vitamins, if I still have to work, which I do, you know, I can get the vitamins into the system and I can get them into an enlarged amount and boost the immune system.
KING: We'll bring Dr. Weil in in a moment and ask about any dangers in this, get into a full discussion of it.
As we go to break, here's's a scene from the other scene that had a great effect on Nick Nolte and health, "Lorenzo's Oil." Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "LORENZO'S OIL")
NOLTE: It comes from the Latin word "arigati (ph)." You know, the root. what it mean? It means to claim for one's self. That's the root. It means to claim for one's self. And I claim the right to fight for my kid's life. And no doctor, no research, no bloody foundation has the right to stop me from asking questions which might help my son!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Our guest are one of America's, one of the world's truly great actors, Nick Nolte. His current film, by the way, is "Simpatico," released through Fine Line Feature, which just opened with Jeff Bridges and Sharon Stone, but that's not why he's here. Also with him is Dr. Eric Braverman, director of the Place for Achieving Total Health, called PATH Medical, based in New York. And joining us now from Tucson is Dr. Andrew Weil, clinical professor of medicine at the University of Arizona, director of the program in integrated medicine at that school, and he's got a forthcoming book coming in March called "Eating Well for Optimum Health: The Essential Guide to Food Diet for Nutrition," and one of his books started Nick Nolte on this path to health.
Dr. Andrew Weil, from what you've heard thus far, your thoughts?
DR. ANDREW WEIL, UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA: Well, first of all, I am in favor of whatever works, so I am very glad that Nick Nolte has gotten benefits from the treatments he's used. I have some concerns about what I've heard. I see some dangers in this kind of medicine. One of them is subtle, and that's in this whole concept of anti-aging medicine. Aging is a natural process. It's something all of us do. I don't think it's wise to set ourselves up in opposition to that. I don't think it's wise to try to reverse aging, to stop it. In my opinion, the goal is to adapt to it, to learn how to age gracefully and successfully.
Secondly, I think there are some practical dangers in the use of hormones in this way. Hormones are powerful substances. They have effects on many systems of the body. It's not at all clear that declining levels of hormones as we age are the cause of aging or that reversing those levels, bringing them up to the levels that we had earlier in life is necessarily beneficial.
KING: Let me stop you right there as we go on.
First, Nick, are you trying to reverse the aging process?
NOLTE: No, not really. I know I am aging. I mean, I just had a birthday. What I am trying to do is to repair cartilage. I'm trying to repair and be able to move and function in a way that is -- a better lifestyle than what it is.
Now, hormones have been that, but I also use food, and you know, I have my own gardens, and I follow Andy Weil's recommendations and things like that. I am just a little more experimental there.
KING: Andrew, I thought you were very experimental.
WEIL: Well, you know I am 57, Larry, and I don't take any of that stuff, and I think I am doing pretty good.
KING: What did he say that worries you? Is he doing anything that worries you?
WEIL: Yes, let me just mention some of the things about these hormones. Human growth hormone may have some definite benefits. It may have some real uses, but we know that it increases the growth of connective tissue throughout the body. So it can cause carpal tunnel syndrome; it can cause joint pains; it can increase the tendency to develop diabetes.
There were some recent experiments done of giving growth hormone to elderly patients in intensive care units, and the idea this would increase the building-up phase of metabolism, and the finding was that these patients had two to three times the mortality of patients not given human growth hormone. So it's not a benign substance. And I think if we're going to use it, we need to really need know both the upside and downside of these. I don't think they're to be used casually.
KING: Dr. Braverman?
BRAVERMAN: Well, we're part of an academy of anti-aging physicians. There's 4,000 physicians. And I train them for the board certification. We actually view aging as a disease, in that all disease processes are really wearing out parts, or premature agings. So a person who has arthritis, a person who has heart disease just has premature aging of a part of their body, and so we're really structured to see what ways we can impact aging in as many ways as possible. This is an American tradition. We're at, you know...
KING: Do you disagree with everything Andrew just said?
BRAVERMAN: No, not totally. I am very much in favor of his wonderful work on spontaneous healing. We think that when we deal with medicine in brain first, the real source of what he calls spontaneous healing is brain chemistry, and that when we change brain chemistry, we change the mind and facilitate these spontaneous healings and transformations of human health.
KING: If we cure this aging disease, we live how long?
BRAVERMAN: Well, first goal is to have better quality of life for all Americans, and I think this is a new way of dealing with medicine that is going to lead to a better way quality of life for everybody. When you take natural hormones, you have a better physique in your 60s, you can maintain your frame better, you can maintain your sex life better. We're dealing with what's calling electropause, the slowing down of the brain. No matter how sharp you are at 70 or 80 years old, there is a slowing down. There is some loss of memory faculties. We have a whole pattern of treatment that stops that or slows it down. That is our goal.
KING: What's wrong, Dr. Weil, with treating that?
WEIL: You know, I think that the thinking of aging as a disease, to me, that's a very unhealthy mental concept. As I said, I think the goal is to learn how to adapt to aging, to accept it, and the first step to aging gracefully is to accept the process. If you define this as a disease, you're not accepting it.
The Macarthur Foundation did a very in-depth study of successful old people that was published a couple of years ago. They interviewed many, many old people who had aged well to find out what they had in common. The two things that stood out that were outstanding were maintenance of physical activity throughout life, and maintenance of social and intellectual connections. Taking supplements was not a correlate. Even diet was not a part of it. The two outstanding things were exercise, regular physical activity and maintenance of social and intellectual connections.
KING: Nick? NOLTE: Well...
KING: You're the patient.
NOLTE: Yes. You know, maybe I'm being optimistic, but it looks to me like in the next 5, 10, 15 years, medical science is just going to progress, especially when the genome is unraveled, is going to progress in such a way that we are going to be able to turn back the clock, so to speak, and I don't mean to turning back the clock by extending the clock. Just as sanitation extended life, as these things come along, we're going to find things that help us live longer, and...
KING: Let me get a break right here, and we'll pick right up. They're our guests for the full hour. We'll be right back with Doctors Braverman and Weil, and Nick Nolte.
Here's nick in a scene from his newest release, "Simpatico."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "SIMPATICO")
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I can't keep this up, Vinnie. This is a dead end.
NOLTE: Kind of like a marriage, isn't it?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Worse.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: I get this sickening feeling this is never going to end.
NOLTE: Then it's a lot like a marriage.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: We're going around and around.
NOLTE: And it's been going on for quite a spell hasn't it, old pal?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: What do you want from me? Huh? I send you money, clothes. I try to take care of you, Vinnie. I really do.
NOLTE: Come clean, Carter, it's real simple. Just walk right into the FBI and confess the whole scam.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: What the hell good is that going to do?
NOLTE: This is your last chance Carter! Don't make me do this.
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Last chance? What do you mean last chance? Are you threatening me? Blackmail?
NOLTE: Let me off the hook?
UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Let yourself off the hook! (END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: Dr. Braverman, as you know, Dr. Weil is somewhat regarded as controversial and ahead of his time. You seem ahead of him. Where is he wrong?
BRAVERMAN: Well, I think, actually, our clinic is in between. He's very much got a beautiful philosophy of spontaneous healing, and a better lifestyle and a humanistic approach to medicine. We're using Western technology to look at brain health and assessment and computerized assessments of the entire body. We study and scan everyone so that when you use these natural hormones, we check prostates, we check brain speed, we improve memory, we have the documentation, and we're associated with the foundation, the Path Foundation, that does the work. All the research on growth hormone is there, showing if it's properly used.
KING: Can you send it to Dr. Weil?
BRAVERMAN: Sure, I can send it to Dr. Weil. I can send the research on the brain map. This is a long history for me. I was interviewed at Harvard Medical School, and they asked me why was I writing a book on zinc in 1980? Zinc lozenges became big. They attacked the doctor with fiber, Carlton Fredericks in New York. He ended up going to jail for fiber. I mean, the doctor who pushed vitamin E for heart disease in Canada got shot, essentially. I've gone through my own trials.
KING: You agree with that, Dr. Weil, right? All progresses have been laughed at?
WEIL: No question, no question.
NOLTE: What about estrogen?
BRAVERMAN: Yes, I mean, women were told if a God wanted you to have estrogen, he would have kept your ovaries going. We have a natural estrogen that helps hair, skin, teeth, bones and your whole life. There is no way that women are going to reject that if it's properly done, because they're going to lose posture, they're going to lose the energy, the mood. Estrogen is probably the best memory compound, when given natural estrogen for women. There are exciting things that the hormones do that are going to be a part of everyone's life, and to resist that would have -- really take away a better life that human beings could have with this new medicine.
NOLTE: We're only halfway through. We'll be right back. We'll reintroduce your guests. We'll be including your phone calls. This is LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.
KING: We're back with Nick Nolte. His current film is "Simpatico." Dr. Eric Braverman, director of PATH Medical, based in New York. And Dr. Andrew Weil, clinical professor of medicine at the University of Arizona. We'll start back with Nick again and we'll be including your phone calls. You do something -- you take ozone shots?
NOLTE: Well, yes.
KING: I mean, some of this, Nick, sounds a little, a little weird.
NOLTE: It is. It is. It is. It's -- that's one of the underground therapies. I became interested in the oxygen processes, and so I got ahold of Dr. Newbauer (ph) in Florida who does hyperbaric oxygen. And we did a brain scan, a nuclear brain scan, and then I took 10 treatments in...
KING: What are the treatments like?
NOLTE: Well, you get inside a tank and you -- your -- you infuse a hundred percent oxygen under pressure. And essentially Edward Teller in the '40s...
KING: A famed physicist?
NOLTE: Yes. He had a stroke, and at that time they had no treatment for it whatsoever. And so he got together with Newbauer, and Newbauer at that time was working on just nitrogen levels in divers. And he went to Newbauer and said: "What would happen if we did an experiment with me? I've had this stroke. Part of my brain is not getting oxygen. Would it push the oxygen into the plasma and would then I get some oxygen into the brain?"
And they did that, and Teller to this day gets into this hyperbaric oxygen tank.
KING: What did it do for you?
NOLTE: Well, what it did for me, supposedly -- you know, it's hard to say. But it -- it's a treatment that -- that oxidizes the brain. And maybe -- certainly on the brain scan, you can see that the -- the brain is more metabolized.
KING: Real cutting-edge here we're talking about, right?
NOLTE: Well, no, hyperbaric oxygen isn't. I think...
KING: It's old?
NOLTE: It's very old. And hyperbaric oxygen is probably the biggest crime in this country. It should be -- if I had a stroke, the first thing I would want to do is climb in a hyperbaric oxygen tank because the only other treatment we have is blood thinner.
KING: That's right.
NOLTE: And your brain is going to die while you're waiting for the blood thinner.
KING: Dr. Weil, what do you think of that?
WEIL: I think hyperbaric oxygen is a very useful treatment for speeding recovery from burns. I would use it for strokes. It's been used for HIV infection, to promote wound healing. But it's a long step from that to injecting ozone. Ozone is a form of oxygen that is very, very active. It's a powerful oxidizing agent, a very toxic compound. I wouldn't let anybody put that into my body.
KING: Are you worried about Nick, because he looks great?
WEIL: I'd like Nick to come over to our integrated medicine clinic at the University of Arizona for a lifestyle assessment not by a computer, by a human being, trained by me, and to have some good lifestyle analysis and to help him sort out which of these therapies are useful and safe and which might not be.
NOLTE: I'll be over there.
WEIL: Good, good.
KING: Do you discount the use of the computer, Andrew?
WEIL: No, I think it has its uses. But I don't -- I think a well-trained clinical observer can make better judgments about a person's health than a machine.
KING: You disagree, Dr. Braverman?
BRAVERMAN: No -- yes, I do...
KING: Obviously, you disagree.
BRAVERMAN: I do.
KING: You think that machines...
BRAVERMAN: I really think that...
KING: ... is an exact science?
BRAVERMAN: ... the computers are the objective information, the objective witnesses, and subjective clinical judgment is still important. But when we do the computer assessment on Nick, we see his memory is excellent. We get a brain print. His memory is great. His cognition is good. His personality is idealistic. He seeks a lot of therapies which not necessarily that I support.
KING: Computer can tell you...
BRAVERMAN: And computers...
KING: ... (UNINTELLIGIBLE) everything (UNINTELLIGIBLE)...
BRAVERMAN: No, I'm not supporting those on the hyperbaric oxygen -- is -- they're diversions and they're not his full-time work. But when you do a brain map, you see the individual. I mean, the brain map is really an EKG of the head.
KING: I want to ask the doctor about that.
BRAVERMAN: It's going to be part of every medical checkup in America, and it tells you that this is a man who is going to be battling with addictive behavior all of his life and that he has fundamental anxieties, in which there are all sorts of triggers that every human being has when the brain is under stress that lead them to drink.
KING: We know, Nick, you can afford this. What does your health cost you every week?
NOLTE: Well, it's a simple question. It's this: How much is your health worth?
KING: I know that, but if a guy don't have the money...
NOLTE: Yes, right.
KING: Worth everything, you know.
NOLTE: But I know millionaires that their health isn't worth -- worth it, you know? Because...
KING: Money isn't everything. Health is 3 percent.
NOLTE: Yes, that's right. Right. That's right.
KING: But what does it cost you?
NOLTE: Well, it's expensive, certainly. Some of this is cutting-edge. Growth hormone certainly is expensive.
KING: Dr. Braverman expensive?
BRAVERMAN: Much of it's covered by insurance today.
KING: Oh yes?
BRAVERMAN: Many aspects -- many aspects of these tests can be covered by insurance. Some policies now cover growth hormone therapy for adults, all right. Some policies cover certain natural hormones. Much of the blood testing for natural hormones and nutrients are covered by a lot of insurances.
KING: Dr. Weil, what do you think of the brain test?
WEIL: I think it's interesting information. I don't think it supplants the information you can gather by asking the right questions about a person's lifestyle, their relationships, what gives them joy in life, by looking at them. I think it's a piece of information, and correcting brain abnormalities that turn up on those tests is not necessarily going to result in better health.
KING: Are you saying, then, it's a tool? WEIL: It's a tool. Let me tell you just a quick story. In December, I went to Okinawa. Most Americans think of Okinawa for military bases, but it's got the highest concentration of healthy old people in the world and the highest concentration of centenarians, most of them women.
I went to a village of weavers, women who are in their 90s, incredibly healthy. These women do not take hormones. They don't even take -- they don't take estrogen and female hormone replacement. They were really healthy. They didn't wear glasses. Their hearing was good. They were active.
You know, what is it about these people? Their diet may be a little different. Their genes may be different. But they're very active, connected people. They're part of the community. They're valued,
Interesting to be around them. I don't know. I don't know how to tease that all apart, but they certainly weren't taking IV vitamins and supplements.
KING: What do you make of that, Nick?
NOLTE: Well, if I was over there, I would live -- I would live the way the Okinawans would.
WEIL: They weren't making movies either.
NOLTE: Yes, and they weren't making movies.
KING: And they didn't have much stress.
NOLTE: And they didn't live in America that eats a lot of fast food and is on the run all the time.
BRAVERMAN: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) seeking the kind of well-being that patients who come to me in New York City are seeking, which is to have longer life, sharper memories, to have better physiques. We're talking about, you know, a Star Trek space-aged-type computerized review that helps individuals have higher performances in achievement- oriented lives, that have a better well-being than necessarily just living that way.
KING: We'll take a break, come back and talk about stress, also some of the other things that Nick does. Nick takes shots of B-127.
Never heard of that.
BRAVERMAN: Me neither. B vitamins.
KING: Oh, the B vitamins. B-12, I see. It says B-127. I don't think we've reached -- I read it wrong. No, it says 127. I guess we've discovered a new vitamin here on Larry king live. And you take a lot of folic acid. I take that too.
NOLTE: Yes. Yes, sir. KING: Is that good, Andrew, folic acid? I take that.
WEIL: Folic acid is good and most of us don't get enough.
KING: Aha -- 16 to 100 milligrams a day, good?
WEIL: Four -- I'd say 400 to 800. And it's no substitute for eating the fruits and vegetables that contain it, like beans and leafy greens.
KING: They always give you that.
NOLTE: Yes, I know.
KING: Beans and leafy greens. I'll take the pill.
BRAVERMAN: There are studies that say that folic acid can promote cancer. All this information...
KING: Promote cancer?
BRAVERMAN: Right. All of this information has to be qualified that's being given to each individual's tests and data. And so you can't go out...
KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) nuts then?
BRAVERMAN: You can't go out...
KING: I'm helping the heart but I'm increasing the chance for cancer?
BRAVERMAN: No. The computer age has given us a handle on natural vitamins, natural hormones, electrical therapies and conventional medicine, and has put it into one system. It's doable.
KING: We'll take a break and come back, talk about stress and take your calls. Don't go away.
KING: Earlier in the program, Nick discussed his rotator cuff problem and how all of this therapy helped him. That problem occurred during the making of "48 Hours." Here's a scene.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right, you two, what's going on here?
EDDIE MURPHY, ACTOR: Nothing.
NOLTE: It's all right. I'm a cop.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, sure. Get your hands above your head.
NOLTE: I'm too (EXPLETIVE DELETED) tired to put my hands above my head. My gun and badge are over there in the car.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Check it out, Bill. Get in the car!
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just what the hell is going on here?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got a burglary call. Two women said a couple of hoods broke into their place posing as cops.
NOLTE: I was following a lead. We rousted them. Why don't you guys go sweet talk them, straighten it out?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've got a better idea. Why don't you do it yourself? We've got better things to do than straighten out your messes.
NOLTE: I'll file a report tomorrow.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, well, I've got to file a report tonight.
NOLTE: Yes? Goes with the territory.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
KING: You hurt it doing that movie, punching him around, huh?
NOLTE: Yes, yes. You know, throwing fake punches.
KING: You're also doing a documentary on all of this?
NOLTE: Yes. Daniel Baldwin and myself, who wrote the "Esquire" article, we're going to travel around the world and talk to different doctors. We're going to go to some ozone clinics in England. We're going to the father of DHEA in France. We're going to go up and talk to the top guy of growth hormone in Denmark.
KING: You take DHEA?
NOLTE: Well, yes, I do.
KING: Is that good for me, Andrew?
WEIL: It might be if you take the right dose. Maybe a little bit might be good for you. But you would need some assessment there. I have no hesitation to recommend it for patients with lupus who are dependent on pregnisone (ph). I think it helps them reduce the dose of pregnisone. But it may also increase risks of prostate cancer and coronary heart disease in men. So I think it has to be used with caution.
KING: There's something pro and con about everything, right?
BRAVERMAN: There is to some degree, but let me explain what's really happening as we get older. We go into pauses. Electro-pause: The brain short-circuits, and gets slower and slower, and the rest of the body starts to wear down. We go into adrenal pause: You lose DHEA in almost every American, every person. You lose testosterone in men. You lose progesterone, estrogen, testosterone in women. You lose melatonin from the pineal gland. It's called pineal-pause. And then we have somato-pause (ph); we lose growth hormone.
If you don't take care of the pauses, you're going to pause.
WEIL: You know, Larry, Larry...
BRAVERMAN: Stage by stage, and what we're trying to do is get the underlying basis of disease, which is hormonal pauses, nutritional imbalances, and try to build them up so that people have a better quality of life, better well-being across the board, starting with their head. And when their head's good, they end up with more spontaneous healing, the very things that Dr. Weil talks about and promotes.
WEIL: Larry, that gives me pause.
You know, menopause is the cessation of menses (ph). That's a clear physiological change. I don't think anything like that comparable happens in these other endocrine systems. And it's not -- not out of the endocrine system.
For instance, if you look at the pineal, old people produce melatonin. There's no scientific evidence that giving melatonin reverses the aging process.
You know, I think it's useful for a short-term treatment for jet lag, if you do international flights. But I think all the rest is conjecture. We don't have scientific evidence there for that.
KING: You say it's more than conjecture.
BRAVERMAN: I have to respectfully disagree. It's well-known, and we teach the course at American Academy of Anti-Aging. Growth hormone peaks at 10 and goes down on a steady basis.
KING: Maybe the two of you...
BRAVERMAN: DHEA peaks at 20 and goes down on a steady basis. Testosterone peaks at 30 and goes down...
KING: You disagree.
BRAVERMAN: No, it's not disagree. This is just a mistake. And these hormones are known to diminish.
Now, old people may make these hormones to degrees, and it's not exactly to identical to menopause. But these are various pauses that we treat and successfully treat.
KING: I want to get a call in. Let me get a call in. Barrie, Ontario, hello.
CALLER: Hello, Larry, thanks for taking my call.
CALLER: A question for Nick. Nick, how do you see the Braverman stuff affecting your recovery from alcoholism? I just -- yes, how is it affecting your recovery?
KING: Are you a recovering alcoholic, sir?
CALLER: Well, I was. That's -- that's a yes or no question, isn't it?
CALLER: Yes, I used to go to meetings. I don't go to meetings anymore. And that's my quick question to Nick is, are you going to meetings? Are you continuing to go?
You know, I've stopped going myself. I'm just wondering whether you continue to go.
NOLTE: Yes. Well, you know, right now the only thing that really works is the meetings. But what is happening is that as the genetics of addictions are starting to be defined, it gives us the ability that our addicts to finally realize that we have a disease, I mean, a definitive disease.
And as these genetics will -- I hope -- as they identify it more and more, there will be better protocols to deal with it from a physiological side.
No, I don't go after 15 years, don't go to as many meetings as I used to. And I have more difficulty with it, quite frankly, because the craving never leaves.
KING: You want to drink now?
NOLTE: Oh, sure, oh, sure. The craving underneath is always there. I can make it one day at a time. That's what I can make.
KING: We'll talk about stress and take some more calls right after this.
KING: Let's get a call from Chicago. Hello.
CALLER: Hello. Mr. Nolte, has your research affected your relationships with the other actors on the set? I mean, have other actors tried partaking in the hormone therapy and...
KING: Is Nick over in the trailer taking his drip?
NOLTE: You'd be surprised who's doing this. KING: Oh?
NOLTE: Yes, yes, yes. A lot of the actors have gotten into -- into this: not so much the hormones but certainly the nutrition and some of the hormones.
KING: You're not regarded as "Here comes Nick, the weirdo"?
NOLTE: I am regarded "here comes Nick, the weirdo," because what I do is I have a dark field microscope in my bedroom and I'm constantly looking at blood, whether it's my blood or my son's blood. And I put it upon a high-definition screen.
NOLTE: Well, because the longer you spend looking at your blood -- first of all, it's another universe. It's absolutely another universe. It's vibrant. Cells vibrate, and it's alive, and you see fibrogen and you see -- you see bacteria. You see white cells moving and surrounding things.
And the longer you watch your blood, the less this means anything, because this is really the thinnest veneer of facade. And it really -- i just unconsciously seems...
KING: Dr. Weil, the words -- how much a part of our living does stress play? If we could eliminate stress, would we eliminate a lot of disease?
WEIL: We can't eliminate stress. Stress is part of life. I think what we can do is learn to neutralize it or prevent it from taking a toll on our body.
Stress -- you can't live without stress. You want to learn techniques to prevent stress from having damaging effects on your body.
KING: You can't live without it?
WEIL: Can't live without it. Let me -- I'll tell you another story. A former student of mine went to a British field hospital in northern Kenya for six months. She was dealing with a huge population of tribal people, went there thinking she was going to be dealing with infectious diseases of all sorts. She said 90 percent of what she saw were stress-related disorders: neck and back pain. The commonest drugs being given out were Valium and Tagamet. It was a revelation to her.
NOLTE: Yes, yes.
BRAVERMAN: We have a whole new technique of dealing with stress. I mean, we have an electrical device. In the electrical age, electrical therapies are in.
KING: Shock treatment? BRAVERMAN: No, no. It's a gentle electrical stimulator. It's like a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) machine for the brain, like a little electrical device that does a calming effect on the brain.
There are nutrients, like anostal (ph), B vitamins, that can help with anxiety levels, and anxiety and stress trigger a lot of diseases.
KING: All right. By the end of this -- let's say the end -- the year 2100, people will be living how long?
BRAVERMAN: By the year 2100? There will be plenty of people alive today that will be in the year 2100. We're going to extend...
KING: My son might be alive?
BRAVERMAN: I would hope so. And I think that what we'll do is we'll extend life in stages: first a hundred, 120. Then you'll see people 140, 160, 180. You keep going, and we'll see how far we can go.
And as a result -- this is an American dream...
KING: Your lips to God.
BRAVERMAN: ... from Thomas Jefferson's writings. This is an American dream to turn the clock backwards, to have a better life. And it starts in the brain. If you take care of your brain health, with the days of really the redemption of our body, which is replaceable parts and healing of our parts with these hormones, you're going to end up with extended life.
KING: Let me get a break. We'll be back with our remaining moments. Don't go away.
KING: One more quick call. Sedona, Arizona, hello.
CALLER: Yes. Hi, Larry.
CALLER: I'm an oncologist in Sedona, and it becomes clear to me after years in practice that stress is the major player in cancer. And I'd like to know how each of the doctors would address that.
KING: You agree, Dr. Weil?
WEIL: I think it is a factor. I have a very old and inexpensive technique for dealing with stress, and it's called breath. Regulation of breathing is the most powerful technique I know for neutralizing anxiety and helping the body deal with stress, and it's free.
KING: Do you think stress plays a big part in cancer?
WEIL: I think it can play a big part in reducing our defensiveness against cancer. I think genetics and environmental factors are the major players in the creation of cancer.
KING: Dr. Braverman?
BRAVERMAN: The genes that regulate cancer, the oncogenes are focused in the brain. Stress is the trigger of most diseases. When your brain is stressed and anxious, you have trembling, twitching, palpitations, irritable bowel syndrome, loss of sex drive, chronic fatigue. These are the warning signs of the worn-out brain. And he's absolutely right. And it's the whole key of why medicine has to be delivered head first, brain first.
KING: PATH Medical is in the New York City...
BRAVERMAN: It's on 34th Street, Madison Avenue.
KING: If you want more information, you can contact them, and Dr. Weil is at the University of Arizona.
I want to spend a couple -- one minute more with Nick.
Dr. Braverman, you're going to send all of your material to Dr. Weil, right?
BRAVERMAN: Well, we'll need a few trucks and airplanes to take it there, but we'll get him the basics.
KING: And Nick, you're going to go see Dr. Weil.
NOLTE: Yes, I'm going to call Andrew Weil, and I'll go down and see him. I would love to.
KING: Are you always searching for something new?
NOLTE: Yes, yes, yes, I am. Did you ever read Saul Bellow's "Henderson the Rain King"?
KING: No, I read three of his books, but not "Henderson."
NOLTE: Yes. Well, "Henderson the Rain King" is about a man who's 60 years old, and he has what Saul Bellow calls "I wantism." And it's a carving. And he goes off to Africa to work with the tribes, and of course, he mucks them all up terribly, you know. But it's a book I've always wanted to do, because I think I understand...
KING: Do the movie?
NOLTE: Yes. Because I understand I wantism. I understand craving. I understand the uncomfortableness...
KING: Do you have that affliction?
NOLTE: I have that affliction, yes.
KING: You wantism? NOLTE: Wantism. Yes, a craving.
KING: So you want to drink?
NOLTE: I want to drink. I want...
KING: You covet?
NOLTE: Yes, yes, right.
KING: Is that bad?
NOLTE: Is that bad? Yes, it's bad in that it can lead to self- destructive behavior. If it can be channeled, if it can be, you know, meditated on, if it can be put into a group context. I mean, Carl Jung said to Dr. Bob or one of them, you know, "I think that alcoholism is a spiritual problem." And he said, "Well, then, is there any hope?" And he said, "Well, yes, you know, it's a spiritual problem."
But now there's also a physical side of this too, and I -- I think, you know...
KING: Do you ever think that the same thing that made you tend to be alcoholic also made you talented?
NOLTE: Absolutely. There's no question about it.
KING: So you have a dilemma?
NOLTE: Yes, I've always said that art, my art is the savior, because this is an outlet. That is a place that I can put it. I'm not comfortable in the world really, you know? I wasn't. You know? But on the stage, I am. You know? And it -- it's...
KING: And by the way, good news. You're going back to the stage.
NOLTE: Yes, that's right.
KING: After 30 years, you're going to make -- Nick Nolte returns to the stage this fall in San Francisco...
KING: ... in a new play by Sam Sheppard...
KING: ... with Sean Penn.
NOLTE: Yes, and James Gammon and Cheech Marin and Woody Harrelson.
KING: All in one play...
NOLTE: All in one play.
KING: ... in San Francisco by Sam Sheppard.
KING: Thank you, Nick.
NOLTE: Thank you, sir.
KING: Good health. Doctor, great meeting you. Andrew, thanks as always.
KING: Nolte'll be on the next plane bringing his blood. Wait for him.
Tomorrow night, Maury Povich. On Friday, Judge Judy.
Stay tuned for "CNN NEWSSTAND." I'm Larry King. Good night.
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